Cannabis brands are facing a challenge unique to their field; dodging Instagram’s seemingly random pattern of removing cannabis-related content curators. With this, both retailers and licensed producers are seeking alternative platforms to market on. Even before legalization, Reddit has been a hub for cannabis consumers to share what they’re enjoying and now with legal products, communities have sprung up to discuss and share insights on Canadian products. 

These communities are so influential that The OCS has even designated a category on their website to highlight what the Ontario-specific community has been raving about. With that, brands are excited to try and cash in on the Reddit excitement, but without a clue on how Reddit differentiates itself from other online messaging boards. 

This guide goes through everything you need to know about the platform, from the creation of your profile to drafting your first post so you’re ready to take Reddit by storm.

Reddit Glossary

Reddit, sometimes referred to as “the front page of the internet”, has existed since 2005 – and with the years it has been active, has developed website-specific terminology. Here is a couple of Reddit’s terminology:

Subreddit: A section of the website specifically for posting content in relation to a certain topic, often featuring the “/r/” HTML code. For example, those seeking the cannabis subreddit will go to the “/r/trees” subreddit while those seeking a subreddit about dendrology will go to “/r/marijuanaenthusiasts”.

Karma: Reddit’s internal scoring/moderation system is tied to posts/comments and the profiles publishing said posts. Represented by two arrows beside a post or comment, any Reddit profile can Upvote(like) or Downvote(dislike) the post or comment, which then reflects in total Karma on the poster’s profile. Posts and comments with more positive Karma will appear higher on the homepage, subreddit, and comment thread.

AMA: Acronym for “Ask Me Anything” – a specific post where a prominent figure invites the Reddit community to ask them questions as comments in the thread in which they give direct answers to the questions posed.

Build Your Account

Before posting, you need to create your account. When naming your profile, think of the voice you’ll be speaking from; will you be speaking as the brand or as a member of the brand’s team? If opting for the second option, be sure to feature a name in the username so those browsing your profile will understand who’s speaking in the posts!

In order to be able to post in certain communities, accounts need to reach a certain “Karma” threshold. As many cannabis-specific subreddits have this threshold to reach, begin by commenting or posting on more generalized subreddits – however, be aware all posts and comments will be compiled and viewable on your profile!

Find Your Community

Once your account is created and has an initial Karma count, you’re ready to start seeking out the subreddits you’ll be utilizing to share your brand. Google is an incredibly powerful tool to discover subreddits by combining keywords and phrases with “subreddit” in your search. Subreddits can feature relevant subreddits on the righthand side of the page, which is amazing to find specific niche communities your brand will be welcome in.

Reddit r/TheOCS Homepage

Check the Rules

Reddit as a platform doesn’t moderate individual posts; to address this, each subreddit has a specific set of rules enforced by their own volunteer-based moderation team. A mistake many make is trying to engage in communities without reading the rules; often resulting in the post being removed, or even a ban from the community.

In order to prevent this, scroll down the subreddit keeping an eye on the righthand side where a set of rules will be available. Most subreddits have requirements for posts while some in the cannabis community have rules to prevent direct marketing from occurring on their boards. If that’s the case, click to a moderator’s profile and send a direct message to them if you need clarification on what you can or can’t do as a brand marketer.

Curate Your Content

Once you’re sure of what does and doesn’t go on the subreddit you’re looking to engage with, you’ll have to establish the goals you have for yourself on Reddit. Want to share your latest product? Think of what information, photos, or media isn’t just available on your website or other socials; Reddit users rarely positively engage with flagrant advertisements, so your posts will need to give the average cannabis user tangible value. Many users want to see what a product looks like underneath the plethora of packaging; crack a jar open and share with them what they can expect. You can also go the opposite route and build excitement around your product by sharing its development in the grow rooms!

If you’re looking to differentiate your brand identity while sharing what makes your brand unique, an AMA is a great place to address questions directly from consumers and budtenders alike; reach out to the subreddit’s moderator in order to properly establish your AMA while getting support driving the engagement.

For those cannabis brands that want to stray from the norm when it comes to engaging with new audiences, check out our Guide to Marketing Cannabis on Twitch.

Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by ADCANN

William Zorn

William Zorn

Certified Cannabis Sommelier & Twitch Affiliate; William is currently an expert in digital cannabis marketing.